Santa Ynez High completed a football sweep of the Greater Santa Barbara area on Friday by blanking San Marcos 48-0 at a wind-swept Warkentin Family Stadium.
The victory, coupled with wins over Santa Barbara and Dos Pueblos the previous two weeks, prompted quarterback Bennett Redell to deem this year’s Pirates as one of the greater Santa Ynez teams.
“I feel this is one of the better teams that’s been through Santa Ynez High School,” said the three-year starter. “Cameron Prendergast did amazing. Logan Ast is just a workhorse all around.
“I’m really proud of this team and everyone, and the brotherhood and chemistry we have.”
Prendergast and Ast scored three touchdowns apiece while Redell passed for a pair of scores. The Pirates (3-1) out-gained the Royals (1-2) in total yards, 311-28.
Coach Josh McClurg resisted the temptation of wondering how far this year’s team could have gone in a normal fall season. Since the California Interscholastic Federation is not sponsoring any playoffs, the Pirates will complete their season next Friday at Cabrillo.
“Maybe what happened made this team grow that much stronger together because these guys never stopped,” McClurg said. “They never stopped doing weight lifting and conditioning.
“We drug those weights out four days a week, all the way through February, so we could lift outside and condition. So these guys never quit. That’s a testament to them and maybe that made them stronger this year.”
San Marcos, which was unable to weight-train outside, was made weaker by the pandemic.
“Those kids don’t have anything to hang their heads about,” Royals’ coach Jason Fowle said. “I didn’t do a good enough job of preparing these guys to respond to the aggression that Santa Ynez was going to bring.
“And having a year of no time in the weight room didn’t frickin’ help, either.”
Ast, who set a school rushing record with 328 yards in last week’s over DP, gained 122 in 11 attempts during Friday’s first half. He carried just one more time and finished with 123 yards.
He set the tone from the opening kickoff, returning it 60 yards down the right sideline to the San Marcos 36-yard line. It took the Pirates just three more plays to reach the end zone, with Prendergast making a diving catch of a 10-yard scoring pass from Redell.
“That’s just Cam, having the same chemistry and just working with each other for three years now,” Redell said. “He just read the ball really well and adjusted. I threw it back-shoulder and he made a nice play on it.
“Cam and I have both been on varsity for three years now, starters, and he’s just an amazing athlete. Great hands and a great guy.”
Santa Ynez got the ball back just three plays later on an interception by Mikey Gills. Redell and Prendergast connected again on a TD pass from the 6-yard line at the midway point of the first quarter.
The Royals’ defense finally held late in the first period, taking over at their own six. But they could gain only one yard, and a short punt into the wind set up the Pirates for their next score — a 35-yard pass from Redell to Ast.
Ast added a 31-yard TD run with 8:44 still left in the second period. Prendergast returned an interception 32 yards for another score after just 10 seconds had elapsed on the clock.
The Pirates’ third interception of the first half — returned from midfield to the 23 by Vincent Moran — led to Ast’s third TD on a five-yard run and a 41-0 lead.
The wind took the air out of San Marcos’ passing attack. The Royals’ longest play came on a 14-yard pass from Rhys Morgan to Lance Bermudes when they had the wind at their backs.
Santa Ynez’s final TD came midway through the third quarter on a seven-yard run by sophomore Luke Gildred, Redell’s backup at quarterback.
“I’m just happy that there’s a season this year and we get a little bit of something,” Redell said. “It’s a big disappointment (not having any playoffs), but I’m happy we have something.”
BISHOP DIEGO 43, BAKERSFIELD CHRISTIAN 22
Buddy Melgoza intercepted three passes in the second half as the Cardinals rallied from an eight-point deficit and scored the game’s last 29 points in a road win over the defending CIF State 3-A champions.
Marcus Chan rushed for two of his three touchdowns in the first half as Bishop took a 14-6 lead. But the Eagles’ Jayden Huggins returned an interception 90 yards for a TD to tie the score at 14-all in the third period.
Bakersfield Christian jumped ahead 22-14 later in the quarter. The Cardinals’ secondary, however, took over after that with four interceptions. Melgoza had interception returns of 20, 21 and 30 yards. Johnny Alvarado had the other interception.
Bishop rushed for four touchdowns in the second half: one more by Chan, two by Isaac Burquez, and another by Qu-Ron Gossett.
The Cardinals (4-0) will try to complete an undefeated season a week from today when they travel to Newbury Park.